Tread Carefully Employers...
Unknowingly and unintentionally an employer can constructively dismiss an employee by breaching a fundamental term of the ‘employment agreement’ (written or unwritten) when restructuring the workforce or making cut backs and decreasing costs. A fundamental term of the employment agreement are pay, hours, location, duties. Employers should move forward cautiously when making sweeping changes ot the workforce or making changes that effect only one employee.Common Examples of Fundamental Breaches
- Reduction of pay – salary, commissions, nondiscretionary bonus, benefits, etc.
- Change of Title
- Change of Duties
Reduction of Risk...
When an employer plans to make unilateral changes to the structure of the business or organization that will affects the entire workforce or only one employee, you need an experienced lawyer to look at the potential risks and provide options for strategic planning to avoid a constructive dismissal claim.
Employees claiming that they have been constructively dismissed must be asserted quickly after they believe that a fundamental breach of their employment agreement has occurred. When an employer gets notice of a claim of constructive dismissal, there are actions that the employer can take to reduce the risk or use as leverage in potentially lower damages (compensation) if the employer is found in error or simply wishes to negotiate a resolution.
At Stevens & Company we can help you develop a strategy to make certain unilateral and fundamental changes to an employee’s terms of employment. We are eager to develop a careful approach to protect you from a constructive dismissal claim and prevent a potential payout.